Jesse, Tulip, & Cassidy - Finding God
After Comic-Con, the cast of Preacher teased that both the characters and the audience had already met God and didn't know it yet. What are the chances that the first bar they walk into when the get to New Orleans is exactly where they meet God? Both Starr and Jesse have confirmed that the person in the ManDog suit is God, but Preacher fails to reveal the Almighty's face in the finale.
The road trip began quite enthusiastically in the season premiere, but quickly took a turn when Tulip's past began to overlap with the search. Once Jesse realized he was on the right track, nothing else mattered. He stopped putting effort into what was going on with Tulip and Cassidy, and their relationship as a group suffered because of it.
Even Genesis began to be less effective after siphoning off some of his soul for the Saint. The Word still works, he's used it on Starr several times since giving up 1 percent of his soul, but Jesse can no longer summon Genesis at will the way he could before. Context implies that this Genesis dysfunction could also have something to do with a morality scale. While much of the series has veered from the comics at this point, it was God who gave certain people immunity to Jesse's power. Given the reach of the Grail and Starr's utmost desires for order over chaos, it stands to reason that Starr and God have struck a deal that allows the Almighty to try out his "new life." After all, it was the Grail who hired fake God as a Heavenly stand-in. If God is as selfish and egotistical as he is in the comics, maybe he just didn't want to go back to Heaven, forcing Starr's hand to find a replacement.
Despite his bravado and extremely shady past, Jesse remains devout. He makes Starr take him to the Messiah because he wants to talk with someone who can help him find God and set the world right again. One thing that Jesse and Starr share is that after meeting Humperdoo, both men knew that he was unfit to rule. But Tulip's death at the hands of a Grail agent will certainly be an end to this partnership, leaving comic fans to wonder if avenging Tulip will be enough to send this relationship toward a nuclear showdown like the comics?
Jesse's Family History and Angelville
The tattoo in the middle of Jesse's back, the one he told Cassidy was given to him by a mean old lady, is the same symbol on the arm of the man who killed his father and has been peppered throughout the second season. In New Orleans, Jesse saw a poster that shook him to his core. It read, "Come see Angelville. Experience magic." The first mention of his evil grandmother's home, Angelville, comes in 'Sokosha', when he's looking for a soul.
Comic fans will have recognized the airtight coffin from 'Backdoors', as well as T.C. and Jody in 'The End of the Road' being Marie L'Angell's henchmen, and the men who killed Jesse's father. Where this flashback differs from the comics is that his grandmother is heavy into black magic. She restores a rooster that Jesse accidentally killed, and charges admission to strangers for them to have an occult experience. Whereas in the comics, she was just a sadistic traditionalist that was head of a family meant to raise their sons to be God fearing preachers.
There's a convoluted, yet gloriously satisfying, arc in the comics that involves God resurrecting Tulip which allows Jesse time to blow up Angelville and move on with Tulip at his side. Perhaps another significant change on the horizon for a potential third season will be Jesse having to swallow all of his pride to ask another favor of his grandmother. Her ability to resurrect the dead is apparent in the rooster still being alive, but she promises Jesse, "everything has a price." Tulip is an integral part in tackling the Grail in the comics, and it would seem a complete waste of an important character to let her stay dead.
Preacher has been hinting at Angelville since early in the first season and it looks like fans will start there if a new season returns next year. Genesis is on the fritz, the road trip to find God is at a stand-still, the trio is fractured, and the Grail is pulling strings in both heaven and hell while Starr has Jesse firmly in his grip.
Season 2 of Preacher kicked off the adventure comic fans have expected all along, but along the way, the series detoured down its own very different path. Pulling characters from the source material yet forging new and complex stories (soul siphoning, the inmates in hell) have secured a new tone for the series and moved away from "based" on the comics to something more along the lines of "inspired" by the comics. It's a gamble, and is sure to lose some comic purists, but time will tell if the changes have worked well enough to forge a new dedicated viewership.
Preacher has not yet been renewed by AMC for season 3 at the time of publishing.
Photos: Michele K. Short/AMC/Sony Pictures Television